Salford City 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 13, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Lloyd Isgrove scored the only goal as Bolton ended Salford City's 21-game unbeaten home record in league competition with victory at the Peninsula Stadium.

Isgrove struck midway through the first-half, cutting in from the right before seeing his bending cross evade everybody in the box before nestling into the far corner of Vaclav Hladky's net.

The Ammies hadn't lost on home soil in League Two in over a year but, in ending that record, Wanderers open up a four-point gap between 3rd and 4th in the race for automatic promotion and hover just two points behind table-topping Cheltenham Town.

Having seen Marcus Maddison cut short his time on loan from Charlton Athletic on Monday, Ian Evatt was forced into one change from the side that began against Harrogate Town on Saturday as George Thomason came into the team.

With the action underway on a crisp spring evening, it was the home side that fashioned the first opportunity as Robbie Gotts' cross from the left was turned goalwards by Ian Henderson, only for Matt Gilks to make a comfortable save.

Wanderers were soon in their natural flow and had two chances to break the deadlock themselves, with Eoin Doyle twice left frustrated.

First, a deflected attempt from Oladapo Afolayan fell kindly into the feet of the Irishman, whose effort was saved by Hladky, moments before he and Kieran Lee got in each other's way as they stooped to head in a low cross from Isgrove - with the ball eventually rolling wide of the far post.

Doyle was kicking himself once again on the quarter-hour, this time scuffing a shot into the gloves of Hladky after Gethin Jones had picked him out with a cross from the right.

Hladky denied Doyle again from the next attack, with the Salford goalkeeper this time forced into a smart stop, shortly before Afolayan cut in from the left flank before seeing a curling effort fly narrowly over the crossbar.

The visitors were well on top at this point and deservedly opened the scoring midway through the half as Isgrove shaped to cross, only to see his dinked attempt evade everybody before bouncing into the far corner.

Salford's confidence took a hit in conceding that goal but they did come close to drawing level soon after the half-hour as Henderson stole a yard on Ricardo Santos before shooting over, before Afolayan was thwarted at the other end after winning possession inside the final third only to have play called back for a harsh foul.

Tom Clarke headed wide in the closing stages of the half for the Ammies, who did have time for one last chance but Gotts couldn't find a way past Gilks with a dipping half-volley from distance.

Suitably impressed with his team's first-half display, Evatt stuck with the same players for the second period, while Salford made a double change as Ashley Hunter and Di'Shon Bernard replaced Paul Coutts and Clarke.

In a complete contrast to the opening 45 minutes, neither side threatened in the early stages following the restart - with Henderson's header shortly before the hour the best either could muster.

The hosts had two chances to get back on level terms midway through the half, with Gotts denied twice in quick succession by outstanding block challenges from Santos.

Lee saw a goalbound strike deflect behind as a loose ball broke kindly to him with 20 minutes to play, before Doyle fired over the bar after Isgrove had latched on to a stray pass from Hunter.

Wanderers were content to soak up the pressure in the latter stages, with Evatt doing his part in slowing the play down by bringing Shaun Miller, Nathan Delfouneso and Zack Elbouzedi into the action.

Salford would push all the way, though, and would surely have equalised in the final minute of normal time as Henderson fed Ibou Touray, whose strike was charged down excellently by Jones.

Delfouneso also put his body on the line to protect the Trotters' lead inside four minutes of stoppage time, as the visitors saw out the clock to record an impressive league double.

The three points doesn't alter the table in terms of position, but it does open up a four-point gap between Bolton and the chasing pack in the battle for automatic promotion.

They could move one step closer to their goal of League One football next season when they return to action on Saturday, with a trip to bottom-placed Grimsby Town on the horizon.

Salford City: Hladky, Clarke (Bernard 45), Eastham, Turnbull, Touray, Towell (Burgess 72), Coutts (Hunter 45), Lowe, Gotts, Thomas-Asante, Henderson
Subs Not Used: Evans, James, Boyd, Dieseruvwe
Booked: Clarke, Burgess, Hunter

Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, John, Baptiste, Santos, Jones, Williams, Thomason, Lee, Afolayan (Delfouneso 76), Isgrove (Elbouzedi 84), Doyle (Miller 77)
Subs Not Used: Delaney, Tutte, Brockbank, Gnahoua
Booked: Lee, Williams, Thomason
Goals: Isgrove 23

Referee: Alan Young

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston